This is all very enlightening.
From Alex McFarlane.
What a day. I can only imagine how much stress the players were under.
The arbiters too were feeling the pressure before the start of the play-offs.
I found myself checking that I could reset a DGT XL, even though I have done
it hundreds of times before.
A quick meeting before play and it was agreed that the penalty for starting
an opponent’s clock before replacing a displaced piece would be one minute.
A third offence would result in the loss of the game.
The rules already stated that a third incorrect claim of a draw would result
in a loss also.
The Rules also stated that the arbiters should record the moves and this
was to be available to the players to enable draw claims.
I was allocated the Aronian-Grischuk game with Franca Dapiran doing
Kramnik-Radjabov and Chief Arbiter Ignatius Leong ‘floating’.
As things transpired, I got the easy option.
Before the start of play a technician came up to us to inform us that
the Kramnik-Radjabov clock was not showing up with the electronic display.
This often happens when the batteries are weak but not so weak as to give a
warning sign. The clock was replaced.
The Rapidplay session duly commenced at 3pm local time.
After some discussion it was agreed that we would give 15 minutes between
games but would not wait to start both simultaneously as that could cause
a large delay and there was anyway the prospect of a very long day
– 4 Rapidplay, 10 Blitz and an Armageddon.
My first game lasted longer than the other so my second started 10 minutes
after the K-R one. However, they finished games 2, 3 and 4 whilst
I was still on game three.
It was decided to start my game 4 at the same time as the Blitz game
of the other competitors.
As I am watching this game I hear a bleep from the other clock as
you do when it is being reset. I looked round to see both players indicating
the clock which was showing 00 and the other two arbiters moving swiftly
towards the incident.
(Whilst we were close to the ‘action’ we were a bit further back than normally
would be the case when recording to allow more access for the film crews.)
It was immediately decided that the game should continue with a replacement
clock set at the times which could be found either from the footage taken or from
the display of the games.
Obviously, there was some disturbance though not excessive under the
circumstances. It was certainly enough for me to consider halting my game,
but not enough for me actually to do so.
There was a bit of a dispute with one player saying the game should be annulled
and the other wanting to play on. A slight delay followed whilst the Rules were
consulted to confirm that they did not cover the situation.
“They discuss the situation, while arbiter Alex McFarlane admonishes them to keep it down”
That is the caption underneath a picture on the Chessbase Website.
(Alex is on the far right holding up his hand to Kramnik telling him to keep the noise down.)
Eventually, everything was sorted and the games continued using a third clock.
I am not sure, but I believe part of the delay in restarting was to allow the players
to compose themselves.
As my match finished first I then had to escort one of the players to the press
interview and then for a doping test.
I returned from that in time to watch the last blitz game and then repeat the
doping performance with one of those players.
All in all a very busy day. One which I enjoyed but one that I hope will not be
repeated. I hate to think what the situation would have been like if we had had
three matches going to tiebreak.